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Publication numberUS20040088105 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/302,671
Publication dateMay 6, 2004
Filing dateNov 22, 2002
Priority dateNov 4, 2002
Also published asUS6845317
Publication number10302671, 302671, US 2004/0088105 A1, US 2004/088105 A1, US 20040088105 A1, US 20040088105A1, US 2004088105 A1, US 2004088105A1, US-A1-20040088105, US-A1-2004088105, US2004/0088105A1, US2004/088105A1, US20040088105 A1, US20040088105A1, US2004088105 A1, US2004088105A1
InventorsDean Craine
Original AssigneeCraine Dean A.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Navigational-based speed limit recording and warning system
US 20040088105 A1
Abstract
A motor-vehicle navigation-based speed limit recording and warning system designed to automatically inform drivers when they are exceeding the posted speed limit on a particular roadway. The system includes a navigational system that displays a plurality of roadways on a map and the motor vehicle's location thereon. The navigational system also includes a “mark” point feature or function that enables a driver to manually enter “mark” points and assign a speed limit to each “mark” point. The “mark” point feature or function may be directly coupled to the motor vehicle's speedometer so that the driver may simultaneously input both the motor vehicle's current speed and the “mark” point on the roadway. Later when traveling on the same roadway, the relative locations of the “mark” points along with their assigned speed limits, and the current location and speed of the motor vehicle are displayed to the driver to inform him or her of the most recently passed posted speed limit and when the posted speed limit is exceeded.
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Claims(20)
1. A speed limit recording system, comprising:
a. a motor vehicle, said motor vehicle having a speed indicating means;
b. means for displaying the current speed of said motor vehicle to a driver of said motor vehicle; and,
c. a navigational system located inside said motor vehicle, said navigational system including a visual display and a map database containing a plurality of roadways;
d. means for creating a “mark” location on a roadway; and,
e. means for associating a speed limit with said “mark” location.
2. The speed limit recording system, as recorded in claim 1, wherein said means for displaying the current speed of said motor vehicle is a speedometer.
3. The speed limit recording system, as recorded in claim 1, wherein said means for displaying the current speed of said motor vehicle is said navigational system.
4. The speed limit recording system, as recorded in claim 1, wherein said means for inputting the said speed limit of a roadway on said map database is at least one “mark” input key and a plurality of movement input keys used to mark the location and input the posted speed limit numbers on a roadway to be associated with a speed limit.
5. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 1, wherein said means for inputting the speed limit into said navigational system is a mark input key used to record the current speed limit from the indicating means of said motor vehicle.
6. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 1, wherein said navigational system is a GPS-based navigational system.
7. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 1, wherein said means for selecting a location of a posted speed limit on a roadway is a “mark” input key coupled to said navigational system.
8. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 7, wherein said “mark” input key is provided on a steering wheel in said motor vehicle.
9. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 7 wherein said means for selecting a location of a posted speed limit and said means for associating the speed limit to said location are coupled together so that said motor vehicle's current speed is automatically associated with said location.
10. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 9 wherein said means for selecting a location of a posted speed limit on a roadway is a combination button mounted on the steering wheel of said motor vehicle.
11. A motor vehicle speed limit recording system, comprising:
a. a navigational system capable of presenting a map with a plurality of roadways displayed thereon;
b. means for selectively designating “mark” locations on said roadways; and,
c. means for assigning a speed limit to each said mark location.
12. The speed limit recording system as recited in claim 11, further including means for displaying the current speed of said motor vehicle.
13. The speed limit recording system, as recorded in claim 12, wherein said means for displaying the current speed of said motor vehicle is a speedometer.
14. The speed limit recording system, as recorded in claim 12, wherein said means for displaying the current speed of said motor vehicle is said navigational system.
15. The speed limit recording system, as recorded in claim 11, wherein said means for inputting the said speed limit of a roadway on said map database is a plurality of speed limit input keys.
16. The speed limit recording system as recited in claim 15, further including means for displaying the current speed of said motor vehicle.
17. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 12, wherein said means for inputting the speed limit into said navigational system is a combination mark and speed input key used to designate a “mark” location and to record the current speed limit of said motor vehicle.
18. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 12, wherein said means for selecting a location of a posted speed limit on a roadway is a “mark” button coupled to said navigational system.
19. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 18, wherein said “mark” button is located on the steering wheel in said motor vehicle.
20. The speed limit recording system, as recited in claim 12 wherein said means for assigning a speed limit to a “mark” location is an input key assigned to one speed limit value of the following groups of speed limit values: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75.
Description
  • [0001]
    This utility patent application claims the benefit of provisional patent application (Serial No. 60/423538) filed on Nov. 4, 2002.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    This invention pertains to systems and methods for recording and monitoring the posted speed limits on roadways in a selected region.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    Generally, drivers are more likely to exceed the posted speed limits on county or city regulated roads and highways rather than state regulated roads and highways. One reason for this is that fewer state traffic enforcement personnel are available to monitor interstate highways than county or city traffic enforcement personnel.
  • [0006]
    Many county or city roads are two or four lane roadways that wind through different junctions, neighborhoods or small cities. Many of these roads are located by schools or businesses that require reduced posted speed limits. As a result, the posted speeds limits on county and state roads vary greatly and change every few miles. As a result, drivers must pay close attention to the vehicle speeds to keep from speeding. Unfortunately, many drivers become distracted or don't see a posted speed limit sign, which results in speeding infractions.
  • [0007]
    Navigational systems for motor vehicles are relatively common. Most navigational systems today include receivers that receive signals from global positioning satellites and an on-board optical disc player that plays one or more optical discs with a map database recorded thereon to provide current location and route guidance information to drivers. Most navigational systems enable drivers to selectively designate and record “mark” points on the display map. The “mark” points are stored in the permanent memory of the GPS receiver for later use.
  • [0008]
    What is needed is a system and method for easily recording and monitoring speed limits on roadways in a region that later may be used to automatically inform the driver of the posted speed limits and then automatically warn the driver when the posted speed limit of a roadway is exceeded.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0009]
    A navigational-based speed limit recording and warning system designed to allow a driver to selectively input and record the posted speed limits on roadways into their motor vehicle navigational system. Later, the system may be used to automatically inform the driver of the posted speed limit and possibly warn the driver when he or she exceeds the recorded posted speed limit. The system includes a navigational system located inside the motor vehicle capable of tracking and displaying the motor vehicle location on a map displayed to the driver. In one embodiment, the navigational system is an existing GPS-based navigation system including a visual monitor, a map database that contains roadway information for a desired region, and a “mark” location feature that enables the driver to selectively “mark” or designate locations on the roadways presented on the monitor. During use, a map is displayed on the monitor showing the location of the motor vehicle on the roadways and the “mark” locations.
  • [0010]
    Coupled to the navigation system is a means for associating a speed limit with a roadway or “mark” location. In one embodiment, the means for associating the speed limit is one or more numeric buttons connected to or displayed on the monitor, that the driver uses to manually input and associate a speed limit with a designated “mark” location. In another embodiment, the means for associating the speed limit is a link between the motor vehicle's speedometer or speed recording system that the driver selectively activates to transmit the motor vehicle's current speed to the navigation system which automatically associates it with the designated “mark” location. In still another embodiment, the means for associating the speed limit to a “mark” location is a combination button located in a convenient location for the driver, such as the steering wheel, that is used by the driver to simultaneously “mark” a designated location and automatically associate the motor vehicle's current speed thereto.
  • [0011]
    Later when traveling on the roadway, the navigation system monitors the motor vehicle's current location and displays the posted speed limit associated with the most recently passed “mark” location. The system may include a dashboard or speedometer indicator means that informs the driver when the motor vehicle has exceeded the posted speed limit on the roadway.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 1 is an illustration of a motor vehicle with a navigational system and the manually inputted speed limit recording and monitoring system located therein.
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 2 is an illustration showing the connection of the components used in the system.
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 3 is an illustration of the navigational system's monitor showing the map of the region with the current location of the motor vehicle and interconnecting roadways.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 4 is an illustration of the display monitor showing a group of speed limit input buttons.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 5 is a block diagram presenting the steps of the method of recording the speed limits.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 6 is a block diagram presenting the steps of a method of displaying the speed limits of roadways to a driver.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)
  • [0018]
    Referring to the accompanying Figs., there is shown and described a navigational-based speed limit recording and monitoring system 9 designed to allow a driver 5 to selectively record posted speed limits on roadways 85 and later use the system 9 to automatically inform the driver 5 when he or she exceeds the recorded speed limit 92 on a particular roadway 85. The system 9 includes a navigational system 11 located inside the motor vehicle 10. For illustration purposes the navigational system 11 is a GPS-based navigational system that includes a GPS receiver 13 disc player 22, a display monitor 19. Loaded into the disc player 22 is one or more optical discs 15 containing a map database 24 that contains roadway information for a desired region. It should be understood that other types of wireless navigational systems 11 that provide location and route guidance information to drivers 5 of a motor vehicle 10 may be used. During use, the current location of the motor vehicle 10 is displayed on a map 80 (see FIG. 3) showing various roadways 85, 87 using the display monitor 19.
  • [0019]
    Coupled to the navigation system 11 is a means for associating a pre-existing or new “mark” location along a roadway with a numerical speed limit amount. In one embodiment, the means for inputting the “mark” locations is a “mark” button 16 mounted on or adjacent to the display monitor 19. Also mounted on or adjacent to the display monitor 19 is an “edit/delete” button 17 for editing or deleting a “mark” location and an input speed button 18 that activates the system 11 for receiving the inputted speed limit value from the numeric keys 20. During use, a speed limit 77 is manually inputted via one or more numeric keys 20 mounted on or adjacent to the display monitor 19. The inputted speed limit value is then associated with the designated “mark” location on a roadway shown on the display monitor 19.
  • [0020]
    In another embodiment, the means for inputting a speed limit 77 is a link between the motor vehicle's analog or digital speedometer 30, 30′, respectively, or other speed recording system that automatically transmits the motor vehicle's current speed 32, 32′ to the navigation system 11 and associates it with the designated “mark” location. In still another embodiment, a combination button 40 located in a convenient location for the driver 5, such as on the steering wheel 50, is used to simultaneously “mark” a designated location and associate the motor vehicle's current speed 32 to the marked location. The combination button 40 may also be mounted with an ON/OFF button 42, a manual mark button 44, a delete/edit button 46 and a monitor button 48 discussed further below.
  • [0021]
    Later when traveling on the roadway, the navigation system 11 monitors the current location 90 of the motor vehicle 10 and displays the posted speed limit 77 associated with the most recently passed “mark” location on the display monitor 19. The driver is able to easily determine the speed limit of the current roadway using the navigational system. The system may also be coupled to the digital speedometer 30′ to directly display the recorded speed limit 92 from the navigational system 11 on the speedometer 30′. The driver 5 would then be informed when the motor vehicle 10 has exceeded the posted speed limit 77 on the roadway without monitoring the navigational system 11. When the system 11 is used with an analog speedometer 30, an indicator light 57 may be mounted on the motor vehicle's dashboard which turns from “green” to “red” color to indicate when the motor vehicle 10 is traveling at or below the recorded speed limit 77 or has exceeded the speed limit 77, respectively.
  • Navigation System
  • [0022]
    The navigational system 11 includes a GPS receiver 13 connected to a display monitor 19 that presents to the driver 5 a map 80 of a selected region 82 showing roadways 85,87 and mark points 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 101, 103, 105, 107 as shown in FIG. 3. The motor vehicle's current physical location 90 is indicated on the map 80 along with the location and names of the roadway and various points of interest.
  • [0023]
    The GPS receiver 13 is connected to an optical disc player 22 which contains a map database 24 and a GPS antenna 23 all mounted inside the motor vehicle 10. The GPS receiver 13 may include an audible voice feature that provides audible warnings or instructions to the driver when the motor vehicle 10 has exceeded the recorded speed limit 77. The GPS receiver 13 includes various I/O ports that enable other peripheral devices, such as a speedometer 30, 30′ and a wireless modem to transmit information to the GPS receiver 13. Such GPS receivers 13 are manufactured by Alpine Electronics of America, Inc, of Tokyo, Japan, and Pioneer North America, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan which connect to a DVD disc player 22.
  • Means for Entering “MARK” Points
  • [0024]
    Most GPS receivers 13 available today enable the users to select or “mark” way points or locations on a roadway using a “mark” button 16 on the GPS receiver 13. With these receivers 13, the “mark” location is temporarily stored in the memory until the “mark” location is deleted by the user. Most GPS receivers 13 also include an edit/delete button 17 that enables the user to manually edit or delete the “mark” locations.
  • [0025]
    In the system 11 described herein, loaded into the memory of the GPS receiver 13 is a software program 25 designed to store both the “mark” locations and the recorded speed limit information 77 associated with each “mark” location. The software program 25 is then used to display “mark” locations and recorded speed limit information 77 on the display monitor 19.
  • Means for Inputting the Posted Speed Limit
  • [0026]
    As mentioned above, coupled to the navigation system 11 is a means for inputting and associating the posted speed limit with a “mark” location. In one embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the means for inputting the posted speed limit 77 is one or more numeric buttons 20 mounted on the frame of the GPS receiver 13 or “touch” screen buttons that enable the driver 5 to manually input a posted speed limit 77 and associate it with a designated “mark” location on a roadway. When the posted speed limit 77 is inputted and associated with a “mark” location, it is automatically displayed on the display monitor 19 along with the map information.
  • [0027]
    In a second embodiment, shown in FIG. 2, means for inputting the posted speed limit 77 is a link 28, 28′ between the motor vehicle's analog 30 or digital speedometer 30′ that automatically transmits the motor vehicle's current speed information 32, 32′, respectively, to the navigational system 11.
  • [0028]
    There are two types of “mark” buttons 40, 44. The first “mark” button 40 automatically transmits the motor vehicle's current speed 32, 32′ to the navigational system 11. The second “mark” button 44 is used in combination with the input button 20 that the driver uses to manually input the speed limit. The second mark button 44 is typically used to manually input and associate a speed limit to a “mark” location when the motor vehicle is starting or traveling at a speed below the posted speed limit. Both the first and second “mark” buttons 40, 44 may be mounted on the steering wheel 50 so that the driver 5 does not have to take his or her hands and eyes off the steering wheel or road. When the system 9 is used with an analog speedometer 30′, a converter 29 must be used to convert the analog signal to a digital signal for use by the navigational system 11.
  • [0029]
    When the input button 20 on the GPS receiver is selected, a group 108 of buttons 106-119, each associated with a speed limit number from the following group (10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75) is presented on the display monitor as shown in FIG. 4. During use, the driver selects the “mark” button and then one of the buttons 106-119 on the display monitor 19 to associate a speed limit 77 with the “mark” location. The display monitor also includes a “delete” and “edit” button, 120, 121, respectively.
  • Presentation of Speed Limit Information
  • [0030]
    In the first embodiment, the speed limit information is displayed on the display monitor 19 along with roadway information, such as name of roadway, block address, and direction of travel. As mentioned above, the speedometer and GPS receiver 13 may be coupled together so that the recorded speed limit information from the GPS receiver 13 is displayed on the motor vehicle's dashboard. In another embodiment, the speed limit information is displayed only on the display monitor 19. An LED light or similar signal could then be mounted on the dashboard which is activated by the GPS receiver 13 when the motor vehicle 10 exceeds the recorded speed limit 77. An alternative embodiment could include the use of a digital speedometer in which the color of the motor vehicle's speed is “green” when the motor vehicle was at or below the recorded speed limit 77 and “red” when above the speed limit 77.
  • Operation
  • [0031]
    The navigation system 11 is first activated so that the motor vehicle's current location 90 on a map 80 is displayed on a display monitor 19. The scale of the map 80 is adjusted to approximately to a {fraction (1/32)} to mile scale.
  • [0032]
    The “mark” locations and speed limit information may be selected and inputted into the system 9 before driving or while driving. In each method, a “mark” location along a roadway is first selected and then a recorded speed limit 77 is assigned to the “mark” location. The delete/edit button 46 is selected to change the recorded speed limit 77 or to delete the “mark” location altogether.
  • [0033]
    When a “mark” location and the speed limit information 77 are entered, the system 9 assumes that the recorded speed limit 77 continues indefinitely on the roadway or on connecting roadways until a new mark location or new speed limit is entered. Since the posted speed limit 77 on a particular roadway may change often, use of the combination marking button 40 located on the steering wheel 50 which automatically inputs and associates the motor vehicle's current speed to the navigation system 11 may be preferred because it is easy to use and less distracting to the driver 5. The driver 5 is also able to easily monitor and adjust the exact location of the “mark” location by activating switches on the steering wheel.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 3 is an illustration of a display monitor 19 coupled to the navigational system 11 showing the current location 90 of a motor vehicle 10 traveling on a first roadway 85 that includes several “mark” locations 91, 93, 95, 105, and 107, each associated with a speed limit 92, 94, 96, 106, 108, respectively. Ahead of the motor vehicle 10 is an intersection which connects the first roadway 85 to a second roadway 87. Designated on the second roadway 87 is a plurality of “mark” locations 97, 99, 101, and 103, each with speed limits 98, 100, 102, 104, respectively, associated therewith. As the driver 5 travels on the first roadway 85, the current location 90 of the motor vehicle 10 is displayed on the map 80. When the motor vehicle 10 passes the second speed limit sign 76, the driver activates the “mark” button 16, 40 or 44 and inputs the correct posted speed limit information (55 MPH) into the navigational system 11 using button 20 or 40. The navigational system 11 now displays the “mark” location 93 speed limit information 77 on the map 80. When the motor vehicle 10 passes the third speed limit sign 76 that changes the speed limit 77 on the roadway 85, the driver again activates the “mark” button 16, 40 or 44 and inputs the new posted speed limit information (35 MPH) using buttons 20 or 40. The new “mark” location 95 and posted speed limit information 96 is then displayed on the map 80. As mentioned above, the system 9 assumes that the inputted speed limit information associated with the last “mark” location continues until the next “mark” point is passed. The activation and inputting of the mark point's speed limit information is continued until the entire route is designated.
  • [0035]
    After all of the “mark” locations and the speed limit information have been entered for the entire route, the driver 5 is able to use the system 9 to monitor his or her speed limit along the route. Referring again to FIG. 3, as the driver 5 travels on the first roadway 85 the next day, the posted speed limit 92 (55 MPH) assigned to the first “mark” location 91 is displayed on the display monitor 19 or dashboard. As the driver 5 continues on the first roadway 85, the second and third “mark” locations 93, 95, respectively, are passed and their respective speed limits 35 MPH and 25 MPH are displayed on the display monitor 19 or on the dashboard. After driving through the intersection, the other “mark” locations 97, 99, 101, 103 are passed and the posted speed limit changes from 25 MPH to 35 MPH, 45 MPH, or 55 MPH depending on the roadway taken after the intersection.
  • [0036]
    Using the above system 9, a method of inputting posted speed limits is provided as delineated in FIG. 5, which includes the following steps:
  • [0037]
    a. selecting a navigation-based speed limit recording and warning system 9 located inside a motor vehicle 10, said system 9 including a GPS receiver 13, a display monitor 19, a map database 24, means for designating a “mark” location on a roadway; and means for inputting and associating speed limits with each said “mark” location;
  • [0038]
    b. activating said navigation system 9;
  • [0039]
    c. designating a “mark” location on a roadway located on said map database 24; and,
  • [0040]
    d. associating a speed limit 77 with said “mark” location.
  • [0041]
    Also using the above system 9, a method of displaying posted speed limits 77 for roadways to a driver 5 is provided, as shown in FIG. 6, which includes the following steps:
  • [0042]
    a. selecting a navigation-based speed limit recording and warning system 9 located inside a motor vehicle 10, said system 9 including a GPS receiver 13, a visual display monitor 19, a map database 24, and means for selecting a mark location on a roadway presented on said visual display monitor 19; and means for inputting posted speed limits 77 into the GPS based navigational system 11;
  • [0043]
    b. activating said system 9;
  • [0044]
    c. selecting a “mark” location on a roadway on said map database 24 where the speed limit 77 is posted;
  • [0045]
    d. associating a speed limit number with each said “mark” location; and,
  • [0046]
    e. driving on said roadway to receive the speed limit information associated with each mark thereon.
  • [0047]
    In compliance with the statute, the invention described herein has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, since the means and construction shown, is comprised only of the preferred embodiments for putting the invention into effect. The invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the amended claims, appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents. I claim:
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8280742 *Dec 11, 2006Oct 2, 2012Panasonic CorporationInput device and input method for mobile body
US9035796 *Nov 7, 2011May 19, 2015Ford Global TechnologiesReduce speed ahead information delivery
US20060055630 *Sep 15, 2004Mar 16, 2006Cheang Tak MChromatically enhanced display
US20100153111 *Dec 11, 2006Jun 17, 2010Takuya HiraiInput device and input method for mobile body
US20130113633 *Nov 7, 2011May 9, 2013Thomas Edward PiluttiReduce speed ahead information delivery
US20160167513 *Sep 10, 2013Jun 16, 2016Mitsubishi Electric CorporationInformation processing apparatus, information display apparatus, and display control method
DE112006002286B4 *Jul 19, 2006Jul 7, 2016GM Global Technology Operations LLC (n. d. Ges. d. Staates Delaware)Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzungshinweisvorrichtung
Classifications
U.S. Classification701/468
International ClassificationG01C21/26, G01S19/48
Cooperative ClassificationG01C21/26, B60K2350/1072, B60K37/02
European ClassificationB60K37/02, G01C21/26
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 24, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: DAC REMOTE INVESTMENTS LLC, DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CRAINE, DEAN A.;REEL/FRAME:019597/0797
Effective date: 20070507
Jun 19, 2008FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jun 25, 2012FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Dec 10, 2015ASAssignment
Owner name: CUFER ASSET LTD. L.L.C., DELAWARE
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:DAC REMOTE INVESTMENTS LLC;REEL/FRAME:037263/0144
Effective date: 20150812
Aug 26, 2016REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Jan 18, 2017LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Mar 7, 2017FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20170118